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  #1  
Old 06-12-2011, 09:04 AM
hernando hernando is offline
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Can anyone recommend a good honest travel agent in T.V.
  #2  
Old 06-12-2011, 09:34 AM
under55 under55 is offline
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Expedia.com
  #3  
Old 06-12-2011, 01:06 PM
MustangSally MustangSally is offline
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I think travel agents are kind of a thing-of-the-past. Besides prices are supposed to be cheaper if you do it yourself online, as suggested above. That being said, there are times when one needs travel assistance, and researching an unfamiliar place can be very time-consuming online. You might try AAA as they still have agents. And they seem to be good about customer satisfaction. Years ago, one of their agents booked us on a flight to Kauai with a hotel on Maui!! Fortunately we noticed when we picked up the tickets before leaving. They then booked us into a more expensive hotel and paid the difference. Good luck and have fun wherever you are going!
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Old 06-12-2011, 02:44 PM
swrinfla swrinfla is offline
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hernando:

As a former travel agent myself (retired from it some 9 years ago, shortly after 9/11), I've certainly got some ideas about what you should be looking for in a travel agent!

Today, so far as I know, almost none even issue airline tickets - they don't get commissions anymore, and it's almost universally cheaper for folks to book their own flights on line.

For tours and cruises, however, I strongly suggest finding a good agent to help you out. To me, a good agent has a lot of personal experience as well as a skill in understanding what you're looking for. That generally rules out the youngsters - that is, the cute young girls who haven't been anywhere but who are adept at repeating what their more senior/seasoned bosses tell them!

In the immediate vicinity of The Villages, I'd certainly start with AAA. Don't necessarily book with the first agent you talk with; develop a relationship and feel comfortable that he/she knows what you want, how much you're willing to spend, etc., etc.

There are others, and I have dealt with one or two who seemed to fit my needs. That said, I do my own research, then have a former colleague do the booking - usually for my cruises. This gives her a penny or two (she still works at the agency where I did, but also operates her own out of her home), and I benefit, too, because she always sends me at least one bottle of wine for my cruise!

Develop a trusting relationship and you should always have a good trip.

SWR
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  #5  
Old 06-12-2011, 11:08 PM
Ken24 Ken24 is offline
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Have used AAA on day trips, always well planned. Five years going to the Daytona 500 and always beat the crowd and get home within 2 or 3 hours.
  #6  
Old 06-13-2011, 01:46 AM
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jackz jackz is offline
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You have received some great advice concerning this subject in this thread.

I want to add that we have taken numerous cruises and have found that Vacations to Go (vacationstogo.com) has been a great company to do business with. They specialize in cruises and their website allows you to search by region, ship and or date. Additionally they have a 90 day ticker that shows the best deals coming up in the next 90 days.

You can do your search online and then call one of their representatives (located in Texas) and they work you through the process. Once you decide on your representative you can keep that representative for all future trips and email them with your upcoming desires. They are good about keeping an eye out for you and letting you know when something comes up that you might be interested in. Also, once you sign up on their site (free) you will receive a weekly email with current deals as well as the ability to sign up for the weekly River Cruises email newsletter and the weekly Resorts email newsletter. We have always received great prices as well as on board credits and our room always has a bottle of red and a bottle of white wine in it for our arrival. Check them out.

As for air travel I start my search using Kayak.com which compares many airlines for their schedules and prices and when I have chosen the best the website sends you to the airline site or whichever site has the best price to complete the transaction on line.

Good luck and many happy vacations.
  #7  
Old 07-25-2011, 08:21 AM
Jeff Bieberfeld
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swrinfla View Post
hernando:

As a former travel agent myself (retired from it some 9 years ago, shortly after 9/11), I've certainly got some ideas about what you should be looking for in a travel agent!

Today, so far as I know, almost none even issue airline tickets - they don't get commissions anymore, and it's almost universally cheaper for folks to book their own flights on line.

For tours and cruises, however, I strongly suggest finding a good agent to help you out. To me, a good agent has a lot of personal experience as well as a skill in understanding what you're looking for. That generally rules out the youngsters - that is, the cute young girls who haven't been anywhere but who are adept at repeating what their more senior/seasoned bosses tell them!

In the immediate vicinity of The Villages, I'd certainly start with AAA. Don't necessarily book with the first agent you talk with; develop a relationship and feel comfortable that he/she knows what you want, how much you're willing to spend, etc., etc.

There are others, and I have dealt with one or two who seemed to fit my needs. That said, I do my own research, then have a former colleague do the booking - usually for my cruises. This gives her a penny or two (she still works at the agency where I did, but also operates her own out of her home), and I benefit, too, because she always sends me at least one bottle of wine for my cruise!

Develop a trusting relationship and you should always have a good trip.

SWR
this is terrific information; developing a relationship with an agent will get you the service that you deserve. I have done the on-line booking route, and it is rare that you get the same person twice......after booking they hand you over to someone in customer service. Give me a live person that you can go back to anytime. I have done bookings for friends and developed a relationship with an agent/agency in Pennsylvania, and she and I would split the commissions. And I got to offer the same or better deals as on-line agencies, and offer exceptional customer service. It is not always just about the price.
  #8  
Old 07-25-2011, 08:42 AM
red tail red tail is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swrinfla View Post
hernando:

As a former travel agent myself (retired from it some 9 years ago, shortly after 9/11), I've certainly got some ideas about what you should be looking for in a travel agent!

Today, so far as I know, almost none even issue airline tickets - they don't get commissions anymore, and it's almost universally cheaper for folks to book their own flights on line.

For tours and cruises, however, I strongly suggest finding a good agent to help you out. To me, a good agent has a lot of personal experience as well as a skill in understanding what you're looking for. That generally rules out the youngsters - that is, the cute young girls who haven't been anywhere but who are adept at repeating what their more senior/seasoned bosses tell them!

In the immediate vicinity of The Villages, I'd certainly start with AAA. Don't necessarily book with the first agent you talk with; develop a relationship and feel comfortable that he/she knows what you want, how much you're willing to spend, etc., etc.

There are others, and I have dealt with one or two who seemed to fit my needs. That said, I do my own research, then have a former colleague do the booking - usually for my cruises. This gives her a penny or two (she still works at the agency where I did, but also operates her own out of her home), and I benefit, too, because she always sends me at least one bottle of wine for my cruise!

Develop a trusting relationship and you should always have a good trip.

SWR
ill bet you miss those fams !!!! i know i miss escorting them around the globe.
  #9  
Old 07-26-2011, 07:05 AM
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ladylake1 ladylake1 is offline
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We have used Debi Sobiewski at AAA for years. Gives great advice and always gets us good deals.
  #10  
Old 07-26-2011, 12:41 PM
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Skip2MySue Skip2MySue is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackz View Post
You have received some great advice concerning this subject in this thread.

I want to add that we have taken numerous cruises and have found that Vacations to Go (vacationstogo.com) has been a great company to do business with. They specialize in cruises and their website allows you to search by region, ship and or date. Additionally they have a 90 day ticker that shows the best deals coming up in the next 90 days.

You can do your search online and then call one of their representatives (located in Texas) and they work you through the process. Once you decide on your representative you can keep that representative for all future trips and email them with your upcoming desires. They are good about keeping an eye out for you and letting you know when something comes up that you might be interested in. Also, once you sign up on their site (free) you will receive a weekly email with current deals as well as the ability to sign up for the weekly River Cruises email newsletter and the weekly Resorts email newsletter. We have always received great prices as well as on board credits and our room always has a bottle of red and a bottle of white wine in it for our arrival. Check them out.

As for air travel I start my search using Kayak.com which compares many airlines for their schedules and prices and when I have chosen the best the website sends you to the airline site or whichever site has the best price to complete the transaction on line.

Good luck and many happy vacations.
Hi Jack,
We too have been on a few cruises and have used "Direct Line Cruises.com" and they have always beat "vacationstogo.com" pricing by a substantial amount along with extra perks. The savings were so good we've now become spoiled "Suite" cruisers.
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  #11  
Old 07-26-2011, 02:07 PM
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jackz jackz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip2MySue View Post
Hi Jack,
We too have been on a few cruises and have used "Direct Line Cruises.com" and they have always beat "vacationstogo.com" pricing by a substantial amount along with extra perks. The savings were so good we've now become spoiled "Suite" cruisers.
Skip 2
I'll check it out, thanks. Might be good enough to move me from a Balcony to a Suite...
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